Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vegan KD 1.0

Ah, KD. The food of my youth. Back in my teen years when grew about a foot every night, I would come home from school, eat an entire box of KD, then eat dinner a few hours later. And I never gained a pound. Man, those were the days. This is my first attempt (hence version 1.0) to recreate that peculiar KD look and taste. Part of this is because of a weird hankering I got for KD the other day, the other part is because I want to create some very kid-friendly meals for my nephew who has recently embraced veg*nism. I got the colour right, but the sauce was still too thick. No matter, the kids bolted it down with gusto with Son #1 eating a record 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS
- 1 large red pepper roasted, peeled, and seeded
- 3 cups macaroni
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup margarine
- soy milk

METHOD
1. While red pepper is roasting, cook pasta according to directions. Start processing cashews and water in a blender until very smooth (3 to 5 mins).
2. Chop roasted pepper (after peeling and seeding, of course) and add to cashew mixture. Once smooth, pass mixture though a fine sieve (optional--my blender really isn't that great). Return to blender and add yeast, mustard, spices, salt, and flour. Blend until smooth.
3. When pasta is cooked, drain. Add margarine to the now empty hot pot and return to the stove over medium heat. When melted, slowly whisk in cashew mixture, then add pasta and mix well. Add enough soy milk until desired consistency is reached.

42 comments:

radioactivegan said...

4 servings? that is amazing. my brother used to eat a full dinner for after-school snack and then dinner again at dinner time. i was always amazed. must be a guy thing ;)

Carolyn said...

The cashews! There's the rub- they are fabulous in a cheese sauce, but too much and they turn it to cheese spread. I am still working out the proportions in my favorite cheese sauce, and think that less may be the answer (plus change some of the water to soy/almond/whatever milk).

Chris said...

It looks incredibly appetizing! I, too, have been searching for a good vegan option for mac and cheese. I haven't found one that I even consider edible. This might fill that spot! Down here in the states we don't call it Kraft Dinner, so it took me a minute to figure out what you meant by "KD!"

VivaciousVegan said...

Hi Vegan Dad, I am not a big fan of Nutritional yeast, can you really taste it in this version of KD? I miss the easy prep of KD but I cannot adjust to the flavor of the nooch....Help!

Valhalla Bean said...

I made your creamy mac and cheese recipe from a while back just last night without noticing your new KD post. I was always a fan of KD with ketchup, so I added some ketchup (PC Organic-- so good!) to mine after serving. This made the colour very similar to KD and also the taste. I will try this recipe soon!

Vonlipi said...

That looks tasty! it will be on my list to try after I get off my low carb diet...

Hellacool said...

Sounds awesome, I'm gonna make it! I made your chickpea crabcakes last week, they were really tasty.

Btw, if you haven't heard the Hot Chip song 'Crap Kraft Dinner' you should check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWi9Ynn3ocM

windycityvegan said...

This looks great, I look forward to making it in the next couple of days. I think I'll pulverize my cashews in a grinder first so I can avoid using a sieve, and maybe use some arrowroot powder instead of flour to make this GF (with GF pasta, of course). Thanks for the great recipe, can't wait to try it out!

A said...

Wo, I had no idea Mac 'n Cheese was called KD in Canada. I honestly can't get over that.
Anyway, best of luck on your attempts, and if they sell Amy's new vegan mac and cheese in the frozen section of your supermarket you should definitely check it out. It uses Daiya and rice pasta and it's amazing!

Nita said...

This looks great! I, too, had no clue what KD was. We never ate it, but I LOVED macaroni and cheese!

Buddhasbrewing said...

This recipe looks great!

I've been using fat-free vegan Kitchen's recipe for a long while.

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/10/easy-macaroni-and-cheeze.html

I think I might try blending yours with hers as miso really helps out in the cheezy flavor department, but a roasted red pepper might taste better than the pimentos she, and I, have been using.

One suggestion you might grind the cashews in a coffee grinder before you blend them togther and you won't need to strain the "cashew cream" for chunks. It works great. Also you might try adding smoked paprika as it adds to the whole cheezy effect.

Wunderama said...

Why is it called KD? Excuse my ignorance - just want to learn! :)

Babette said...

I used to love KD, but none of the commercial vegan brands could come close to the original taste. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.

Samanpka said...

The danger of this recipe is that you may never want to eat anything else. I make something similar, blending the dry ingredients in bulk so I can keep some of the mix in the fridge for later use. I've never seen a recipe with red pepper though - is it there for the flavor, or to add coloring?

josh said...

i know it's sort of the antithesis of what you're doing here, but have you tried daiya cheese? it's crazy. i'm lactose intolerant and usually avoid dairy like the plague (if it's not fermented or i don't have a lactase tab on me) and when i was eating this i had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't real and that i wasn't going to be paying for it later.

it's really processed! which is sort of gross. but if you can't get the actual cheese, amy's uses it in their vegan mac bowls. they're waaaaay overpriced (like $5 USD for a measly side-dish portion) but it was obviously memorable.

Danielle said...

I'm going to make a big batch, so my husband can give Son #1 a run for his money!

Honey said...

Thank you for this! We had my grandfather's funeral Easter weekend & I've been in some serious need of comfort food. (From the south where there's even meat on our greens) and I haven't been able to fill that yet. Just looking at this makes me think of mamma pulling ooweee goowee mac n cheese with a crunchy topping of bread crumbs out of the oven. Chocolate chip cookies & cocoa would always follow for desert. Oh man I already feel better. We're having this for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Honey

Millie said...

Delicious...its a superb dish to have...great job!

http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

The Bad Vegan said...

i can't believe how authentic and Kraft-y it looks! hellacool...hot chip is my favorite, ever.

Amanda Sloan said...

Clueless American here...What does KD stand for?

Stacey said...

I made this recipe this week and it was really good! I was in a hurry so I did not roast my peppers long enough and only ended up using 1 small one after struggling to peel it. I am sure that the second pepper would have only enhanced the flavor. My mac and "cheese" had a lot of sauce which worked out great for me. I have been serving it over a pile of broccoli! Love it!

Cmac said...

This looks great and my wife loves mac n cheese. I will have to try this soon.

Sarah said...

I just made this tonight! I made it according to the recipe but then I added a few things just to give it a little extra cheesy bite: 1 tsp tahini and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar. It came out well. The cashew and red pepper did give it a little bit of a sweet flavor that isn't in KD, but not bad... just different.

I always like to try to mac&cheese recipes!

Krysta said...

This is AMAZING. I just made it for dinner tonight because that picture looked so good. I didn't have a red pepper so I used 2 roasted carrots instead and it worked out great. I also didn't have any tumeric, but the color was perfect due to the carrots.

Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

Stephanie said...

This looks awesome! Wondering, though, whether you have any ideas for substitutes for the roasted red pepper? My husband can't eat peppers. Thanks!

RG said...

At least, for the first time maybe, you're trying to recreate the taste of "cheese" instead of real cheese. Good luck on your attempts! We'll be trying this one for sure!

http://thewheatfreeveganblog.blogspot.com/

Vegan Dad said...

To all who asked: KD is Kraft Dinner, or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (for those in the US). Yes, they call it KD here in Canada, even in the commercials on TV (http://www.kraftdinner.com/).

Thanks to all who offered suggestions. Right now, the recipe is a good mac and cheeze, but isn't really like KD (for better or worse). It is a bit heavy on the nooch, and is a bit sweet from the pepper (though I rather like it that way). Another reader suggested carrots as a replacement, and that sounds good to me. It's also too thick. So, I will try again soon and post the results.

Babette said...

I finally tried your KD last week and my bf and I absolutely loved it. I used a canned roasted red pepper because I was lazy and I also added a bit of salt.

This recipe will for sure be a staple in our house. It's a snap to do and it is delicious. I think it should be in your next cookbook, should you decide to make another one.

Kris said...

I need to make this for dinner! TONIGHT! haha

Kristen said...

I made this for dinner the other night and it was so good! I didn't think it tasted like Kraft very much, but I liked it better. yum! I love cashew based cheese recipes and I think I'll be using this quite often!

The closest I've gotten to achieving a Kraft like mac and cheese was using tofutti sour cream. Maybe you could give that a shot?

slowlygoingvegan said...

Vegan Dad, not sure if you are still reading the comments on this post, I hope you are!

I would love to make mac and "cheese" for my kids, but one of them has a cashew allergy. Any idea on a substitution I can use and still have it come out decent? I have tried a couple of nutritional yeast mac and "cheese" and they were not a hit (with us parent or the kids!)

Thoughts?

Vegan Dad said...

slowlygoingvegan,
Any kind of non-dairy "milk" would work here. I like cashews because they are creamy but rather neutral in flavour. As I mentioned above, this version is perhaps a tad "noochy" but it is mellowed out by the red pepper.

AntandAmy said...

I live in New Zealand and was thankfully never subjected to cheese sauce from a box, but we thought this looked tasty anyway, and it's now the only meal ever my husband [non-veg] has requested I make two days in a row. Hands down winner!

halpey1 said...

Just made it and FINISHED IT ALL... SOOOOO GOOD!

Mom of three said...

Made and enjoyed by Nephew and siblings :)

Angela said...

I didn't have peppers of any kind in the house, so I used a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste instead, and it still tasted divine!

サンディー said...

I made this for dinner tonight and I was literally trying to stick my head in the blender to get out every last drop. It is literally the best thing I have ever tasted. Thank you thank you thank you!

Krista said...

To those not wanting to use cashews: almond might work, but for our family I use raw sunflower seeds. It is a stronger flavor, but somehow "cheezier" to me. Ya'll will probably want to cook the sauce for a while to cook out the raw flavor. Also, sunflower seeds are pretty cheap, which is always a plus in my book.

VeganDad, I haven't tried this but it's certainly on my list. Thanks for the recipe!

Janelle Marlee said...

i love this recipe! it times out so perfectly that you're done in 10-15 minutes easily. not to mention, it's DELICIOUS!

Windi said...

Hi. I just found this and it is so going to be tomorrow's dinner. May I make a suggestion? Cook your pasta first. Use the starchy water from the pasta for the water that you blend down the cashews. And try cutting back on the mustard. Acid tends to intensify nooch.
When I make this I will let you know how it goes. Thanks!!!!!!!

Kim said...

This is great! I'm hoping for leftovers, but I'm not so sure there will be any left. Definitely a hit. The only modification I did was add 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and a bag of peas. I served it with roasted Brussels sprouts. YUM! Thank you!!!! It's so quiet in here, everyone is eating :)

Kim said...

I wanted to add, but forgot, I soaked the cashews in the water for about 10 minutes. No need to strain the cashews after soaking. Delicious and smooth.